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DCIS Recurrence Rate Low in Young Women

Study: Young and Old Patients Do Equally Well With Early Form of Breast Cancer

Expert: More Study Needed

Radiation oncologist Jennifer F. De Los Santos, MD, says careful surgical follow up and the radiation boost may negate the increased risk associated with young age in patients with DCIS.

But she adds that the number of young DCIS patients in the study was far too small to conclude that young patients have the same prognosis with aggressive treatment as older women.

“This was not a randomized study and there were only 24 patients who were 40 years old and younger,” she tells WebMD. “While the findings are provocative they are in no way conclusive because of these two things.”

De Los Santos says a larger, randomized study is under way that should help clarify the role of boost radiotherapy in the treatment of DCIS patients.

Debbie Saslow, PhD, of the American Cancer Society, says studies like this show the importance of treating DCIS aggressively.

“Some people say that we are over-treating DCIS, and it is true that some women may be getting more aggressive treatment than they really need,” she tells WebMD. “We’ve been saying all along that you have to treat DCIS, because if you don’t do anything a lot of women will end up with invasive cancer.”

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